I thought I had finished this blurb and posted it. But it is a good time to update anyway. Barbara ended up developing an infection so at this writing she is getting intensive antibiotics back at the hospital. They are not really sure where it came from, or what caused it, but it could have been something she already had. Or her immune system was uncooperative.
This should have been posted last month –
MUSIC: Since I had Barbara’s guitar all strung up I figured why not do an open mic in Reno after all. The open mic I had hoped to go to had decided to “go on hiatus.’ for a bit. That was unfortunate because it sounded like a wonderful place to play. The Reno Music Project was putting on showcases and open mics. They encouraged original songs because “Reno has plenty of places to do Covers.” But I think the creator of the program needed to recharge his batteries when I was there. Can’t blame him. Many arts organizations are blessed to have someone with creative vision but not enough volunteers.
At one point Barb had talked to all of her friends about coming and there was even talk about doing a house concert at an apartment house community room. This would be her first ‘outing’ other than physical therapy and doctor appointments. Eventually, I found an open mic at a club called the Java Jungle. It is a coffeehouse / bar located near the redeveloped River Walk in downtown Reno. So we spread the word to all of her friends.
We got down there to sign up at 6:15 like the listing said but there were already 9 or 10 people already signed up. I probably wouldn’t get to play until 9:30 or 10. Barbara was in her walker. I said I don’t think she can stay out that long. The host was kind enough to change it so that I could go on second once he heard that I was “bringing an audience”. We went in and waited in the bar area and each had a beer. I think about eight of her friends came to hear me.
Once I got on stage it was still pretty noisy and Barb yelled out, “Could you raise your voice, please.” So, I started to talk like a chipmunk as loud as I could. Considering how noisy it was, it went pretty well. I was able to get our table to sing along and that cut through some of the bar noises. The few performers I got to see were very good. The guy that was on before me mentioned the John Prine comparison that I get a lot. I can’t complain. Sorry about the video and the sound. I’m saving up for a better camera or phone, but for now, this is it.
Heading home: The next morning one of Barb’s friends picked us up. I loaded my suitcase and other stuff into her car. Our first stop was to bring Barbara to physical therapy. Then we went to the Reno airport and said our goodbyes at the curb. I got my boarding passes (and didn’t lose them) and went to the security area. It turned out I was marked so that I could go through the easy TSA line. I guess I didn’t look like a security risk. I left my shoes on and didn’t empty my pockets and my laptop stayed in my backpack.
At the gate to the Denver flight, I was surrounded by a whole club or team of young snowboarders. There were a few adult supervisors or teachers in their 20s. Most of the kids were high school age (or more probably prep school age). All were dressed in rough snowboard/skateboard clothing that looks worn out but probably costs hundreds of bucks. They were eventually going to Logan Airport in Boston. There were two cute kids (around 9 years old) with their own chaperone. They had skateboards with them too as well as two helmets hanging on their backpacks. They were all very well-behaved. All of them had the latest electronic mobile devices and laptops to edit their snowboarding videos and keep them occupied. One of the adults was showing them some of the mistakes they were making on video. I should have taken a photo but I was too busy ease-dropping.
I sat way in the back with two of the older kids and the two youngest kids behind me. The steward was talking to the little kids. He asked the girl who was chaperoning them “You look too young to have kids this age.” She smiled and said she was just a chaperone for the team. He asked the kids why they needed two helmets? One is for skateboarding and one is for snowboarding. The two older kids slept all the way to Denver. That is all I know about snowboarding.
In Denver, my departure gate was in the same area that I waited on the way out to Reno. So I found my favorite outlets to recharge everything and ate the lunch I had brought from Reno. The last leg of the flight was great because there was plenty of room. I sat in the emergency exit row of seats which have a ton of leg room. The only thing that I forgot about is that my ears hate flying. Landing back at Bradley is pretty painful. It used to be much worse. I would try everything from chewing gum to swallowing liters of water, and taking lots of decongestants. Finally, my doctor showed me how to hold my nose and blow gently against it. He said that it looks like the tube that connects my nose and ear goes in a different direction or something or other. It pretty much works but my ears hurt for a few days after I got back. Once we landed I got my suitcase and retrieved my car (Thankfully it started after sitting there for 10 days). By the time I got home it was one in the morning but it was good to be in my own bed.
The next morning I went to fetch Marty and got back to work. Here is Marty greeting me at the dog sitters house.